Students take lockdown in stride
The word “lockdown” was overheard from students as they boarded buses and found rides home after Friday’s hour-long incident at Douglas High School.
Douglas County officers found no evidence of an actual threat and students were given the clearance to leave classrooms and begin their weekends.
“It started about 1 p.m. and the cops were walking around the hallway looking in the windows,” said Robert Lee, 16. “Maybe it was related to yesterday. It’ll take about a week to blow over.”
Some of the students agreed Friday’s lockdown could have been related to the fight between four students that occurred in the commons Thursday.
“There have been a lot of rumors, like there was supposed to be a big fight today at McDonald’s,” said Daniel Doan, 15.
“At first we were doing our normal thing,” said Cody Feldmiller, 16. “There was no panic but then they were all calling their moms. Somebody said they heard about it on the radio.”
“Some of the teachers were freaking out,” said Lee. ” Mr. Lilly had a golf club.”
“At least the teachers were trying to protect us,” said Feldmiller. “It was like, ‘You’re not going to die today.'”
Grounds maintenance man Paul Marquez said he was picking up trash after lunch when he was called inside by head secretary Karan Seelbinder.
“She said to come in because they didn’t want anyone outside,” said Marquez. “This is the first lockdown I’ve seen in three years here, and I don’t like them – it’s too scary.
“You can’t think of it as a joke. They can give you warning signs. You can’t ignore it with what happens these days.”
Linda Gilkerson, mother of two students, was picking one of them up from school.
“Are you OK?” Jon Gilkerson, 16, asked his mother as he climbed into the car.
Linda Gilkerson said her second son, Matt, is a teacher’s assistant and was walking in the 400 hallway when he heard there was a lockdown.
“He called his teacher and said, ‘Is this for real?’ I’m glad they took it seriously because of what happened yesterday,” said Linda Gilkerson. “Maybe something good will come out of all this – like being ready in case something really happens.”
Dean of students and athletic director Jeff Evans said the emergency drills they practice worked out very well.
“You don’t want to take anything too lightly – we want to make sure everyone goes home,” said Evans. “The students’ safety is our No. 1 concern.”